This, I guess, is a relationship between singing and doing, performing music, which are both bodily activities. I mean, I am a contemporary of the film. So maybe what the film is about is what it calls the “abnormal fact.” What does that mean? A touchstone for subsequent (and better known) postmodern biographical portraits like Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, which recasts Bob Dylan as six widely disparate characters, Schroeter’s film is perhaps best understood as an opera aficionado’s self-conscious attempt to recreate the opera form in a fundamentally different medium. Maybe one idea of the film is that that is what opera is all about. That kind of repetition at the same time leads to something like an idealization, or an abstraction. Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Look at the kisses, the faces, the cheeks, the eyebrows, the teeth in a film like Werner Schroeter's The Death of Maria Malibran, To call that sadism seems to me completely false, except through the detour of a vague psychoanalysis involving a partial object, a body in pieces, the vagina dentata. DÜTTMANN: “Curated,” they would say today. Maria Malibran was one of the most lauded mezzo-sopranos of her time when she died in 1836 at just 28 years old, after falling off her horse. That strange, weird way in which they move slowly closer; but they are also in their own separate space, in a way, like each character occupies a different space. The main rupture is with this paradigm, so to speak — to take the film as a living image. It relates to the Foucault quotation. I was really interested in what Alex said: this quintessence of passion, this sort of quintessence of impossibility. STEWART-STEINBERG: Isn’t there a strange way in which the music is diegetic? Because here the eyes are restored in this kind of miracle that happens in the end to the girl who loses her eyes to that evil sorcerer or whatever he is. So there is something, we could say, non-economic or an-economic, like a pure expenditure, in passion. It’s because I’m giving a paper on opera tomorrow, and I thought it would be nice to see a film tonight that would have something to do with opera. Two mouths can touch in a way, but if two voices were able to touch that would be the real accomplishment of both opera or singing and love, as it were. These women in the film can’t die. If cinema is also about a second vision, then everything you hear, the music, you have to listen to as if it were snatches of old tunes and not something simply, immediately, present and given. It’s always too much. The Spanish singer gets an unusual biographical treatment. Timothy Bewes, Interim Director of the Cogut Institute, introduced and moderated the discussion. I would say, the modernist paradigm. That opera, in all its artificiality and its exaggeration — what opera gives us is the quintessence of affect, feeling, emotion, passion. There is a repetition and this repetition of vision comes with an alteration. That’s the fairy tale. It’s really much more leading to a kind of stilled sense that is a kind of social death. If cinema is also about a second vision, then everything you hear, the music, you have to listen to as if it were snatches of old tunes and not something simply, immediately, present and given. Here we are stuck; we keep seeing certain things again and again and again, or perhaps what we see are constant variations on something. That is what opera is all about. As it is raised by Foucault and Schroeter in their interview. It’s like a composition. SUZANNE STEWART-STEINBERG: Alex, when you were talking about the repetition compulsion that leads, in your opinion, to a kind of “abstraction” or “idealization” — these are the terms — but then you say, to “opera.” So, If I’m understanding correctly, you’re not saying it’s the abstraction that is the essence of opera, but that opera is that kind of abstraction. Perhaps I could start off the conversation by just saying something about that. Another thing that I read (this anxiety to be able to say something) was the two texts where Michel Foucault mentions this film. The love of opera would be that: two voices really touching. As if precisely the continuity had been interrupted. I mean, À une passante. Touch is the most unbelievable thing of all. Schroeter stages the singer’s history as a series of baroque tableux that call attention to the artificiality of the premise, as when the audio track picks up some unfortunate microphone feedback, or when the camera awkwardly zooms out to better frame a performance, as if in a home movie of a talent show. It is indeed a liberation from film music, from any inner diegetic need. He sort of dreams or fantasizes about what it would mean for two eyes to touch one another, and he asks: would it be night then or would it be day? I was a bit scared to show this film. They are constantly trying to do that, but they can’t. That would have to do with something that is also very present in the film, namely death or dying. The Death of Maria Malibran (1972) directed by Werner Schroeter • Reviews, film + cast • Letterboxd Well, one way of answering the question is that watching a film is not just watching a film the way you naturally look, as it were, at things — that uninterrupted order where something happens after something and you can expect certain things to happen and it’s reasonable to do so, and so on. George Hall sings the praises of opera's legendary María Malibran That had not been seen before in film, where usually you would see films as more or less naturalistic. BEWES: I want to ask one more question and then we’ll open it up. You no longer do one thing after the other, as you normally would do, your satisfaction, your happiness, does not lie in that. . So I wanted to make the point that it’s about not just the operatic but specifically the cinematic melodramatic. Maybe one more thought. BEWES: Thank you, Stuart. You could also interpret this repetition and the idealization that comes with it, that leads to the quintessence of something: you are no longer distracted by the empirical facts. One is a conversation with Schroeter; the other is an interview a few years earlier, I think for the Cahiers du cinéma, where he talks about Sade and sadism in contemporary film. One is this Christian notion of passion as suffering; and then you have the idea of passion as a drive that can be enacted through the body, through the flesh, so to say. Is that correct? So it’s no longer just a talkie picture. I’m going to ask a follow-up question and then I’ll pass the mic to the others. One of them, the first image that then recurs: the knife and the eyelid; and, immediately after that, the mouth with the make-up. It goes back to this problem of voice recording, sound recording, music that was before the image as in the orchestra for silent films. DIRECTED BY WERNER SCHROETER Maria Malibran was one of the most lauded mezzo-sopranos of her time when she died in 1836 at just 28 years old, … Maybe that’s what there is. I would say just a few words before I answer the question. DÜTTMANN: Maybe that’s also — this is not something I normally do, but why not? When that happens, and the continuity of the course of events is interrupted, you are stuck; all you can do is repeat again and again and again the same thing. Avaliações e Críticas. It’s like isolating a pure eye or a pure mouth that is not meant to convey something. Five Weird, Wacky, and Wonderful Films to Watch at Hot Docs, Wear Pink to Watch Feminists Read Mean Girls, Filed under film, The Death of Maria Malibran, Werner Schroeter. . Avaliações e Críticas. You know, where suddenly something like a minimal plot comes in, after we have no plot at all for most of the film. If I remember correctly, what is said is that ultimately the abnormal fact is not that something exceptional may happen within the next half an hour that interrupts the normal course of things — that diverts the expectation of doing this or that within the next half an hour; the abnormal fact is that we think there is such a thing as a continuity, that we can expect, as it were, to do this or that within half an hour, and that as long as we can do that, we seem to be quite happy and satisfied. . I totally agree with what everybody said, and I was thinking that it’s very much, as you were saying, Gertrud, about the construction of cinema itself, between repetition and also — as you were talking about, Alex — tableaux. The reason is very simple. This legendary 2.5" heeled maryjane was inspired by Maria Malibran, one of the most famous opera singers of the 19th century, who was known for her extraordinary flexibility, range, and power. I kept seeing a connection and a re-invented connection between the eye and the mouth. Film-Thinking is a series of curated screenings followed by conversations, co-hosted by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University and Acoustic Java Microcinema and Café. So no. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Eika Katappa /Death of Maria Malibran NEW PAL 2-DVD Set at the best online prices at eBay! So it is actually Gertrud who’s curating tonight’s event and not me — fortunately. GERTRUD KOCH: He’s both. It’s just there. DÜTTMANN: In the film, towards the end, there’s a reference to what you’re just saying. So, that detail continued to haunt me when I watched the film again this evening. The Death of Maria Malibran. But then when we are touched — often people say art “touches.” We are touched by art. On the stage in Rossini’s opera, she was playing Desdemona, and her father was Otello, and when he came up with a dagger, she was by all accounts afraid that he would kill her, because they had a very violent relationship. . She is doing this monologue about time: “Let’s postpone it for tomorrow. At the same time, there was a huge renaissance of silent film. That even though there is radical proximity, it’s also as if they’re not aware of one another. How to sync bodies with one another? Maria Malibran. Not in general, but by means of two impossible gestures. It’s beyond electronic music at the time. Across the history of queer filmmaking there’s been this deployment of melodrama as a way to get at — what? You keep repeating it, you know, you don’t really attain a limit, but you remain on that limit and on that limit you keep repeating and it’s almost at that point as if one could not get to the quintessence of distress once and for all, but one also proved incapable of one’s own distress and that’s why there is this constant repetition. Touch is something so, so incredible. They are not. One way, maybe, of thinking about this is to ask how we even talk about the music here. With these two things in mind, I decided that I would not close my eyes. One answer would be that what the fairy tale alerts us to is that there is a difference between seeing with one’s eyes, as we normally do, and a kind of second vision. De planta a luz Cine de intensidades expresadas en las poses, a penas móviles y de rostros casi inertes, de mujeres que son atravesadas por … As I was watching the film this evening, some of the elements of the film seemed to come together. West Germany, 1972. Film Note: Werner Schroeter, “The Death of Maria Malibran”, Interview with Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo: Music, Technology, and Society, Furnace and Fugue: A Q&A with Tara Nummedal, Reading the Decameron in the COVID-19 Era, An Introduction to “Life Beyond the Pandemic” by Non Una di Meno, Apocalypse Live: Italian Media in the Time of COVID-19, Introduction to “Italian Thought on COVID-19”. I think it’s diegetic only insofar as we have kind of micro-narrations of passion in it, but it’s not diegetic in the sense of a classical melodrama where you would have leitmotifs for the young hero, and so on. It’s just there, but at the same time, it’s an impossible eye or an impossible mouth. The impossibility of being not only with, but being up against, right up against, with the other’s eye or being with the other’s mouth. Yes. Whereas the heterosexuals expect something to happen in half an hour, and reasonably so — and there will be a fulfillment, or not — the queerness of the film is, as it were, to inhabit those two images, that repetition, that constantly repeated gesture that leads nowhere, because it’s only that one moment of passion without a development, which is both the quintessence and the incapability of fulfillment — but maybe there’s nothing else. It is that what would normally be seen as an exception is no longer exceptional, it becomes the rule. Alexander García Düttmann (University of the Arts, Berlin) selected Werner Schroeter’s film Der Tod der Maria Malibran (Germany, 1972). A series of tableaux illustrating the life and death of a celebrated 19th century German opera singer. All these forms were at this moment in an experimental state. You asked, Tim, what does this have to do with cinema. Of course, it’s not enough that we sing at the same time the same lines for us to say that our voices are touching. What leads to that, precisely, is repetition of the same, again and again and again. Maria Felicia Malibran (24 March 1808 – 23 September 1836) was a Spanish singer who commonly sang both contralto and soprano parts, and was one of the best-known opera singers of the 19th century. STEWART-STEINBERG: Is it Stravinsky at some point? So it’s always something that will be tomorrow, but tomorrow will never happen, because people will die before. There is some kind of communication happening. Maybe this is where the queerness might come in. See reviews & details on a wide selection of Blu-ray & DVDs, both new & used. How to sync bodies with affect? So that is the context of the question that I want to begin by asking you, Alex. TIMOTHY BEWES: This film, which I am seeing for the first time this evening, reminds me a little of the work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, in its performativity, but also in the radical disequivalence between the visual image and the sound image. By 17 a success, by 19 a star, and by her death at 28 the most famous woman in Europe. The image incorporates the sound. There is photography, perhaps, or painting, but film is at least two images. I think — and I don’t know if you would agree, Alex — I think it has something to do with what you were trying to say about the quintessence, because all these snatches of tunes, they try to catch, to seize, to grasp the quintessence of something — maybe passion, an affect, I don’t know. The answer in the film is that when something touches you it keeps reverberating for so long that you cannot but keep dying, as it were. This is a negative time construction in melodrama, and I think Schroeter refers here to these melodramatic, let’s say, prerunners of opera — and also the cinematic post-runners. It’s a kind of incorporated move, a move in the body. She died on the stage. Again, that to me is the queerness of it, because there is no natural syncing, and it seems that the film plays with that. Here you have what Wittgenstein would discuss as a kind of moment in which gestures are incorporated. Synopsis. Spanish contralto and soprano opera singer who is known as one of the foremost opera performers of the 20th century. . Why is Schroeter here a filmmaker and not an opera director? Film-Thinking is a series of curated screenings followed by conversations, co-hosted by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities at Brown University and Acoustic Java Microcinema and Café. So this film is dealing with opera, but where does cinema, as a form and as a mode of thought, fit into what you were just saying? Love itself, passion itself, in those always repeated gestures, very melodramatic, very exaggerated, very artificial, outside of normality, if you wish. ideas and research from the Cogut Institute community. So there again you have this moment of repetition, something which is brought back. . So . Puccini, for example, does not belong there . He talks — maybe we can get back to that later in the conversation — he talks about the non-organicity, the disorganization (in the literal sense of the term) of the bodies in this film. I’m using these words as synonyms, but maybe later we can introduce distinctions. Today, Maria remains one of the legendary names in the history of opera, with countless scholars and fans dreaming of recording equipment and a time machine to transport it; depicted several times during her life by noted painters and sculptors, Maria's story has made it to the silver screen at least three times, the last in 1971 when Candy Darling portrayed her in "The Death of Maria Malibran". Because in this film — this is something so obvious that it is almost shameful to say it, but — what we seem to be watching is constant repetition. It’s not only the coded gestures, the semantic gestures, that we can read as a repertoire from opera or silent film – where the actresses would emphasize a kind of grandiosity of style to compete with the camera. KOCH: Yes. Film-Thinking: The Death of Maria Malibran. So, I’m going to start with a quotation from the film. [To Düttmann] Do you want to answer? And when I heard that, I asked myself, is this not something that takes us into the film, into this film? The Death Of Maria Malibran (Der Tod der Maria Malibran) Quotes There are no approved quotes yet for this movie. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. So, we watch differently. BEWES: Until the end, right? This I always found very amazing. The first Film-Thinking event took place on October 28, 2019 at Acoustic Java. In a way, cutting or carving out the eye or graphically cutting out the mouth. What I’m trying to say is that there would be two takes on repetition here. . Now. Whereas love, he says, expects something in return, and is supposed to lead somewhere. This is an aesthetic that comes from theater, from opera, from early film. La Malibran redirects here. Foucault says several things in this little interview. It seems as if the awful horror, the threat of the cutting of the eye, the most impossible kind of awful touching imaginable, does something to the film; that in the second half of the film, there is some kind of reciprocity. As long as there is only one image, there is no such thing as film. They keep dying, but they can’t really die. The vision that is restored is not the same as the initial vision. KOCH: That’s a Baudelairian moment. Come for the formal playfulness, but stay for the surprising reference to Janis Joplin. So you can’t see if the eye of the other is against yours, if it touches yours. First of all, that there is no love in Maria Malibran, and this claim has to do with the distinction he makes between love and passion: “These women are chained in a state of suffering that binds them together which they are unable to break away from but which at the same time they would do anything to free themselves from. When that happens, and the continuity of the course of events is interrupted, you are stuck; all you can do is repeat again and again and again the same thing. This gives it this homogeneity. It has to do with the question of love and passion. — the unsmoothedness of affect, the “jarredness” that affect can be. In love there is, in a way, someone who is in charge of this love, whereas passion circulates between the partners.” So Foucault is wanting to establish an absolute distinction between love and passion, at least as it is dealt with in the film. . What is it that we watch, then, when one of the things we see — and maybe this is what only film can do, not theater, not opera — is repetition itself, because film is always about at least two images. But still, I have some scraps of things I wanted to share with you. 104. A meteoric career, which ended abruptly with her death at the age of only 28, made Maria Malibran an international celebrity. It’s a second vision, as it were. A Film Note was distributed at the screening with details about the film and extracts from two texts by Michel Foucault dealing with Schroeter’s work. You can say a singer incorporates music, but an actor is incorporating a role. So you would go in, let’s say, a swimming pool, without water, and have, there, an opera directed in the swimming pool. Then, how to bring the sound into the image? But how this “touch,” as it were, leaves us in this strange state, this strange immortality almost, where we can’t go on. there is repetition built into film itself; the film visualizes itself all the time. Actually, this reminded me of a beautiful sentence that Derrida wrote in a book called On Touching — Jean-Luc Nancy. You would have, let’s say, a displacement of operatic sites into environments that could be caught with a camera. But it does seem like the notion of syncing runs across the whole film. OK. Maybe that’s something for starters? The film is very funny in many ways. You have this kind of asynchronized movement of lips and bodies, as in karaoke, but it brings it together in an aesthetic unity, despite all these interruptions that Alex was referring to. And because you no longer know what could happen within the next second you are paralyzed, and you keep repeating something. But I think there is something else involved here that has more to do with what Alex referred to in his statement: the time and timing of passions. All of this is different from love. If you don’t know where everything’s going then there’s nothing to take comfort from. There are moments that, because of the extreme passion, are really hilarious. Until her death, because at that moment . . Stuart? There is a repetition and this repetition of vision comes with an alteration. You can’t sing when you kiss, right? So I’m wondering how these two work together — the making of a sound-image, and opera as abstraction/idealization? So I saw this film as a constant variation about eyelids and mouth. How to sync sound with image, or not? I started to do some quick readings and research before realizing that that was not the right way to do it. we were all very young, and, in terms of aesthetic practices and experiences, performance and performativity was a big thing. One last thought before the others come in. Maria Malibran, byname La Malibran, original name María de la Felicidad García, first married name María García de Malibran, later married name Maria Malibran de Bériot, (born March 24, 1808, Paris, France—died Sept. 23, 1836, Manchester, Eng. This is why I like this film so much — and also other films by Schroeter; they reinvent cinema, especially with the combination with sound. So — this is when we open it up. For the 1943 French film La Malibran, see Sacha Guitry. They do that all the more since they are snatches, precisely. We don’t know where it will lead us. The Death of Maria Malibran Der Tod der Maria Malibran. It’s the moment where touch is mentioned. You have these very old discs that are playing, historic things. KOCH: I think what was really new — but it was shared by this whole group of directors at the time, when you think about the Fassbinder films — these kinds of schmaltzy melodramatic songs play an enormous role, so what I think was the interesting work Schroeter is doing is not only the editing, but that it goes into a flow. So there is repetition built into film itself; the film visualizes itself all the time. . Malibran was known for her stormy personality and dramatic intensity, becoming a legendary figure after her death at age 28. So that this is, you know, a repetition that has absolutely no future. Large parts of the film have as backgrounds curtains, carpets, paint, backdrops. How old is Maria Malibran: 28 years Female Birthday: March 24, 1808 Sun sign: Aries Nationality: Paris, France Death date: September 23, 1836. Malibran was known for her stormy personality and dramatic intensity, becoming a legendary figure after her death at age 28. So, we watch differently. What happens when someone touches you? Maria Malibran (24 March 1808 – 23 September 1836) was a Spanish mezzo-soprano who commonly sang both contralto and soprano parts, and was one of the most famous opera singers of the 19th century. These are very, very carefully chosen pieces of music. Not the Kierkegaardian or Deleuzean concept of repetition, nor what Cavell is doing in The Pursuit of Happiness. Bringing film towards a pure cinematic — in fact, a sound-cinematic — image. JOYRICH: Well, there are some moments even before that. "Cecilia Bartoli leads a tribute to the extraordinary life of Maria Malibran, the first female superstar in music history. Düttmann was joined for the conversation by Gertrud Koch (Free University, Berlin, and Brown University) and Peter Szendy (Brown University). DÜTTMANN: [laughter] I don’t care. The problem is: how can two voices touch? BEWES: The sequence with the woman chasing the man. I’ve spoken. A wide variety of her possessions have been preserved at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in the Maria Malibran fund. Maria Malibran a la façana del Teatre Principal de Barcelona.jpg 939 × 893; 230 KB Maria Malibran by William Sharp after John Hayter.jpg 344 × 366; 61 KB Maria Malibran voor harp À la Malibran (titel op object), RP-P-1931-1206.jpg 4,282 × 7,752; 4.99 MB It is that what would normally be seen as an exception is no longer exceptional, it becomes the rule. Touch is so impossible, almost, that if it’s really touch it must have that kind of effect. PAMELA FOA: I just wonder why you take repetition and the flatness of the cinema to be beautiful and not anxiety, a representation of anxiety. What follows is an edited transcript of the discussion. [Watching a film] is a second vision, as it were. This was the main aesthetic problem for sound film. 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T there a strange way in which body is treated in contemporary cinema is something that will introduced. Malibran was known for her stormy personality and dramatic intensity, becoming a legendary figure her. History of queer cinema music theater, from early film. Thank you for programming this film. would! Second vision, as it were: that is the context of the doomed nineteenth-century mezzo-soprano somewhere! Her time I also ask myself: why you have a sign system and then I ’ going.
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